Coz its about cricket. And I am not a cricket maniac. I don't think much of a sport where the sportsmen can afford to be tubby (think Inzy-with-a-paunch) ;) But hey, I am an Indian, and if the cricket magic does not touch you in India, you are probably living in a bubble. And that was why I went to the India-SA second one-dayer at Bangalore on Saturday. Wow! What an experience!!
It was my first cricket match. Yes, I mean that. I had not watched any match completely, even on TV. The only time I watch cricket is when India is playing a one-dayer against somebody and they are on the verge of winning and it is very close and there are a lot of other people around me all in a frenzy. Otherwise, if a match is on and I hear wild cheering, I come running to the TV and watch the replay of the dismissal or the boundary or whatever it is. That's cricket for me.
Anyway, about the match - we went early to avoid the inevitable traffic jam... and we got to see the players at the nets, and their warm-up sessions. As they came out one by one for the practice sessions, they were cheered, but nobody responded, except Greg Chappell, who gave us a gracious wave, which drove the crowds crazier. The team ran, threw, caught, hit, exercised, chatted, kidded around, even as each new bunch of spectators entered, recognized their heroes and shouted out to them. By the time the match started, the stadium was filled to capacity, and the roaring and waving and cheering was deafening.
The match began, and before I knew it, there were 3 dismissals and I had missed them all :( I was busy with something inane, like wondering why the protective fence had two bars missing, or where the chips-seller had disappeared.
I actually looked back towards the field, waiting for a replay, when I realised that I was not watching TV. I admit I felt quite stupid ;) And the large screen was not working, so no replay there either. But I really concentrated after that and caught all the other dismissals and boundaries.
Meanwhile, I had to contend with a tall unruly-haired man who plonked himself in the seat in front of me, blocking my view entirely [as a sidenote, ever wondered why all the people who sit in the seat in front of you are tall with unruly hair?] There was also this man who steadfastly refused to put out his cigarette, and asked "Why?" when requested to stop smoking.
Adding masala to the match was hubby dearest who kept up a running commentary for my benefit. He also slapped his forehead a few times when I asked him "ignorant" questions like "Why do they change sides after each over?" He was also sweet enough to keep up a constant supply of food. [Though I have a sneaking suspicion that it was to keep my mouth full so that I would not ask him any more stupid questions]
So with all the other crazy people, I screamed, jumped, threw my arms around, hi-fived, jigged, and mexican-waved and brought the cheering to a roaring crescendo as India swept to a cool victory.
I still cannot talk about offside and legside and doosras but I can brag, "Oh, I saw Tendulkar from within 20 feet", and I guess that makes me a fan!